Do I Qualify for Unemployment Insurance?

There are many different specifications an individual needs to meet in order to qualify for unemployment insurance. The Federal government sets the basis for unemployment insurance regulations, but states are afforded much freedom in determining how to, to whom, and reasons for allotting unemployment insurance. There are two different categories for eligibility: monetary and non-monetary.

● Monetary eligibility, which is outlined in greater depth in another article, regards the amount of time an individual needs to have spent working and the amount of wages an individual needs to have earned in order to be eligible for unemployment insurance.
● Nonmonetary eligibility is outlined in this article. These requirements are concerned with how an individual became unemployed and what the individual is doing to remedy the situation.

In order to initially qualify for unemployment insurance, you must be unemployed through no fault of your own. You are typically ineligible for unemployment benefits if you lost your job due to an inability to work, scheduling conflicts/unavailability, or misconduct on the job. Furthermore, if you were removed from your job because you refused to engage in suitable work without a good cause, you are not eligible for unemployment. If you voluntarily quit your job without good due reason, you are not eligible for unemployment compensation.

The aforementioned qualifications are all nonmonetary.

If you meet those qualifications, in addition to the monetary eligibility requirements, then you (most likely) qualify for unemployment insurance.

HOWEVER, if you want to continue receiving unemployment benefits for the maximum amount of weeks you are eligible for at the maximum weekly benefit amount you are eligible for, you have to ensure that you continue to meet additional requirements listed below.

In order to continue receiving unemployment benefits, most states (in general) require you to:
– file weekly or biweekly claims at the end of every (or every other) week which include:
– report any wages earned while receiving unemployment benefits on a weekly basis
– report any job offers on a weekly basis
– report any jobs you refused on a weekly basis
– the way in which you should file your weekly or biweekly claim varies by state
– promptly respond to any questions the unemployment office asks of you
– promptly attend any scheduled/mandated meetings/appointments/interviews at the unemployment office
– be able to work on a weekly basis
– be available to work on a weekly basis
– be available for full-time work on a weekly basis
– register for work at your local employment office upon initial qualification
– actively seek work or make a reasonable effort to obtain work on a weekly basis

Each state has its own definition of and requirements for “actively seeking work.”
This usually comes in the form of a specific number of employer contacts a recipient has to make per week in regards to obtaining work.

Alabama
– no set number
– can file weekly claims by internet or telephone

Alaska
– no set number
– can file biweekly claims by internet, telephone, or mail

Arizona
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or in person

Arkansas
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet, telephone, or in person

California
– no set number
– can file biweekly claim by internet, mail, or in person

Colorado
– no set number
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Connecticut
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet or telephone

Delaware
– must contact at least one employer per week
– can file weekly claim by internet, telephone, or mail

Washington D.C.
– must contact at least 2 employers per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet or telephone

Florida
– must contact at least five employers per week
OR
– contact the American Job Center
– can file biweekly claim by

Georgia
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Hawaii
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet, telephone, mail, or in person

Idaho
– must contact at least one employer per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet

Illinois
– no set number
– can file biweekly claim by internet, telephone, or mail

Indiana
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet

Iowa
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Kansas
– must contact at least one employer per week
– must also pass drug tests in order to continue receiving unemployment insurance. Failing a drug test or refusing to take a drug test results in disqualification from unemployment insurance benefits.
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Kentucky
– no set number
– can file biweekly claim by internet, telephone, or in person

Louisiana
– must contact at least one employer per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Maine
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Maryland
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet or telephone

Massachusetts
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet or telephone

Michigan
– no set number
– can file biweekly claim by internet or telephone

Minnesota
– no set number
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Mississippi
– no set number
– must also pass drug tests in order to continue receiving unemployment insurance. Failing a drug test or refusing to take a drug test results in disqualification from unemployment insurance benefits.
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Missouri
– must contact at least one employer per week
– requires recipients to report to the local unemployment office once every four weeks in order to determine whether the recipient is able or unable to work
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Montana
– must contact at least one employer per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet, telephone, or in person

Nebraska
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Nevada
– no set number
– can file biweekly claim by internet or telephone

New Hampshire
– no set number
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

New Jersey
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet, telephone, or in person

New Mexico
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

New York
– no set number
– can file biweekly claim by internet or telephone

North Carolina
– must contact at least four employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet, telephone, or in person

North Dakota
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Ohio
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet, telephone, or in person

Oklahoma
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Oregon
– no set number
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Pennsylvania
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file biweekly claim by internet or telephone

Rhode Island
– no set number
– can file weekly claim by internet, telephone, or mail

South Carolina
– must contact at least four employers per week
– can file weekly claim by telephone or in person

South Dakota
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file weekly claim by internet or telephone

Tennessee
– must contact at least three employers per week
OR
– utilize the services at a local Career Center
– can file a weekly claim by internet, telephone, mail, or in person

Texas
– must contact at least one employer per week
– must also pass drug tests in order to continue receiving unemployment insurance. Failing a drug test or refusing to take a drug test results in disqualification from unemployment insurance benefits.
– can file a weekly claim by internet or telephone

Utah
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file a weekly claim by internet

Vermont
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file a weekly claim by internet or telephone

Virginia
– no set number
– can file a weekly claim by internet, telephone, or mail

Washington
– must contact at least three employers per week
– can file a weekly claim by internet or telephone

West Virginia
– must contact at least one employer per week
– can file a biweekly claim by internet, telephone,mail, or in person

Wisconsin
– must contact at least four employers per week
– can file a weekly claim by internet or telephone

Wyoming
– must contact at least two employers per week
– can file a weekly claim by internet, telephone, or mail

12 comments

  • my employer gave me a random hair follicle drug test and it came up positive for cocaine I have NEVER done cocaine a day in my life. I was fired and I have been there for 4 years, How do I start a law suit? I put in for my unemployment and I had to fax all of my medications to them because I had dental work done. My employer didn’t even care about what I had to take for getting my tooth pulled. Do I even qualify for unemployment benefits?

  • Will I recieve unemployment if i I refused to take the blood alcohol test after being accused, I was not drinking and I do not drink I was really shocked ubset and humiliated.after about 20 minutes I called my employer back to tell the them I would take the blood alcohol. test they said no.I feel they should have let me it was only a few minutes I was gone and changed my mind

    • Have you been discharged? If so, apply for benefits. You will probably be initially denied, but that means nothing. A denial is standard whenever an employer accuses you of anything.

      You appeal that denial and should easily win on appeal since you retracted your refusal of that test within 20 minutes of your first denial. CA ALJs are very sympathetic.

  • Robin Gail Edwards

    I was for a temporary agency for 61/2 months and the assignment has ended. Am i eligible to collect unemployment

  • John Melander

    would i be eligible for unemployment after working for only 4 months, September- January no fault of my own. my previous job was not eligible to collect

    • Your state and its monetary requirements are the determinant, as well as your employment history going back to October 1, 2015. Provide additional information and repost this Q w/info on your state page.

  • Denna Pruitt

    I been at this restaurant for three years it has changed owners twice since I’ve been there I was getting 40 hours up until now now I’m only getting 25 can I draw part-time unemployment

    • You can apply, of course, but your part-time earnngs will be an offset to the benefit. In most cases, you will receive little or nothing. Especially if you are in a state with a low benefit, even your part-time earnings will exceed the benefit, in which case no benefit is paid.

      But, by all means apply. You might be able to collect a few dollars.

  • I knew when I was hired that I would be off the week between Christmas and new years. Am i eligible for unemployment

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